The Oldie Literary Lunches have become a venerable institution on the London literary scene since they were first launched in 1996. Held monthly at Simpson's-in-the-Strand, the lunches feature three speakers who each address the audience for ten minutes. A delicious three-course lunch with wine accompanies the talks.
To book tickets call Katherine or Jenny on 01225 42 73 11 between the hours of 9am and 3pm, Monday-Friday.
Tickets cost £62
Click here to listen in on our previous lunches
Andy McNab on the latest Tom Buckingham thriller.
The author first adopted the literary ‘codename’ Andy McNab in his account of his time
in the SAS, Bravo Two Zero, and has continued to use it for his popular fiction.
He will be discussing his life, writing and the latest novel in his series about SAS trooper
Terry Waite on The Voyage of the Golden Handshake.
Waite has previously recounted his experience of being held hostage in Lebanon from
1987 to 1991 in Taken on Trust and Footfalls in Memory. His latest work is in a rather
different vein: a comic novel set aboard a cruise liner.
Wendy Cope on Life, Love and The Archers.
Poet Wendy Cope, author of Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis and Family Values, is
also a peerless prose writer. She will be speaking about her latest book, a collection
of recollections, reviews and other prose – and may be persuaded to read a
few short poems as well.
Fay Weldon on Mischief.
Fay Weldon began writing fiction in 1966 and has never stopped. She estimates she
has written ‘100-odd’ short stories, never mind her novels. In Mischief, she has picked
21 short stories, from the funny to the wise.
Ferdinand Mount on The Tears of the Rajas: Mutiny, Money
and Marriage in India.
Writer and politician Ferdinand Mount’s previous work includes his studies of
class and power Mind the Gap and The New Few. In Tears of the Rajas, he turns
his eye on Britons in 19th-century colonial India, as viewed through the
experiences of his own ancestors, the Lows of Clatto.
Helen Lederer on Losing It
Actress and comedian Helen Lederer has been amusing audiences with her stand-up
routines since the Eighties as well as winning plaudits for more serious roles in
productions including The Vagina Monologues. Now her wit works its way onto
the page in her debut comic novel Losing It.
John Julius Norwich on Sicily
We are delighted to welcome back one of our best speakers, on one of his
favourite subjects, Sicily, which he first wrote about nearly fifty years ago
in The Normans in the South and Kingdom in the Sun. Now he is exploring
its entire history from volcanic eruptions to imperial assassinations, not
forgetting Nelson's extra-marital affairs.
Jerry White on Zeppelin Nights
White has writted eight books about London, including a trilogy exploring
the cepital during the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In
Zeppelin Nights, he narrows his gaze to the impact of the First World War
on the city, the prelude to the Blitz.
Rachel Johnson on Fresh Hell
Rachel Johnson will be talking about her long-awaited sequel to Notting Hell,
the brilliant expose of the absurd antics of West London's village of the rich
and hopeless, who are also Rachel's neighbours.
**BUXTON LITERATURE FESTIVAL**
LUNCH AT THE OLD HALL HOTEL, BUXTON
Accommodation: Old Hall Hotel www.oldhallhotelbuxton.co.uk;
Roseleigh Guest-House www.roseleighhotel.co.uk
Prue Leith on a culinary life.
Restaurateur, founder of Leith’s Cookery School and author of a dozen cookery
books, Prue Leith is a glutton for life, as detailed in her memoir Relish.
Not content to stay in the kitchen, she has turned her hand to novel-writing and
will talk about her most recent fiction, as well as a life immersed in food.
Kate Mosse on The Taxidermist’s Daughter.
Kate Mosse – author of Labyrinth and The Winter Ghosts – makes her Oldie
literary lunch debut to tell us about The Taxidermist’s Daughter, a gothic
psychological thriller set on the flooded marshlands of the author’s native
West Sussex on the Eve of St Mark, 1912.
Jonathon Fryer on Soho in the Fifties.
As a foreign reporter, Fryer’s voice will be familiar from BBC Radio 4’s
From Our Own Correspondent. As a historian, he has published a dozen
books focusing on particularly debauched figures, including Oscar Wilde,
Dylan Thomas and the inhabitants of Soho in its hedonistic heyday of the
Fifties and Sixties.
Antony Sher on Year of the Fat Knight
Few actors have more thoroughly immersed themselves in
Shakespeare than Sher. During thirty years on stage he has
performed every role from Iago to Shylock to Richard III, the
latter prompting his first book, Year of the King. In this follow-up,
Sher documents his preparation for his most recent part, Falstaff,
in Henry IVParts I and 2.
Pam St Clement on The End of an Earring
As Pat Butcher in Eastenders, St Clement found herself playing a
prostitute, pub landlady and murder witness. In her autobiography
(named for the ostentatious jewellery worn by her character), the
actress recounts her 25-year career in one of Britain’s most avidly
watched soap operas.
Virginia Nicholson on Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes
The great niece of Virginia Woolf, Nicholson’s histories Singled Out
and Millions Like Us depict the impact of the First and Second World
Wars on women. Perfect Wives moves into the next decade of the
Fifties, ‘a decade when marriage seemed unassailable and femininity
carried the imperative of a life force.’
Richard Davenport-Hines on Universal Man:
The Seven Lives of John Maynard Keynes
Davenport-Hines, authority on subjects from poet WH Auden to
the Profumo Affair, turns his eye to the twentieth century’s great
economist John Maynard Keynes. By exploring those ‘seven lives’ –
altruist, boy prodigy, official, public man, lover, connoisseur and
envoy – Davenport-Hines shows how Keynes became so influential,
and why he remains so seventy years later.
Matthew Rice on Rice’s Church Primer
Illustrator Rice is the architecture enthusiast behind the lavishly
illustrated Village Buildings of Britain and Rice’s Architectural Primer.
His latest work explains the language of church architecture, from
the restrained Norman style of William the Conqueror to the gilded
excesses of the Baroque, while his ceramic designs for wife
Emma Bridgewater can be found in kitchens across Britain.
**RYE ARTS FESTIVAL**
Oliver Kamm on Accidence will Happen:
The Non-Pedantic Guide to English Usage
As a journalist, Oliver Kamm is used to having his grammar corrected
into incoherence. His latest grammar book provides a welcome antidote
to pedantry, proving that many so-called linguistic ‘rules’ may be
abandoned, and that it is not a crime to wantonly split an infinitive.
Robert Douglas-Fairhurst on The Story of Alice:
Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland.
Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, whose previous works include the exhaustive
biography Becoming Dickens, here explores another Victorian giant of
literature, Lewis Carroll. In the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland’s
publication, Douglas-Fairhurst considers the relationship between the
controversial children’s author and his ‘dream-child’ Alice Liddell.
Harry Mount on Harry Mount's Odyssey: Ancient
Greece in the Footsteps of Odysseus
Several millennia after the Homeric hero undertook his journey,
Harry Mount – whose Amo, Amas Amat… and All That convinced
readers to ‘put a little Latin in your life’ – followed Odysseus’s epic
trail. His Odyssey recounts his voyage from Troy to the Hellespont,
and shows why Ancient Greece was truly the greatest civilisation.
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